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New Britain Bumps Off Barnstormers in Slugfest

Lancaster Drops 13-9 Decision

First New Britain had a four-run lead.  Then, the Barnstormers did.

However, at the end of the night, it was the host Bees up by four markers in a 13-9 victory over Lancaster in the rubber game of a three-game series at New Britain Stadium.

The loss dropped Lancaster one-half game behind York in the Freedom Division race while Sugar Land pulled to within three.

New Britain reached starter Scott Sebald (0-1) for four runs on the first four batters of the night for the host club.  James Skelton yanked a 3-2 pitch out of the yard to right.  Michael Crouse followed with a triple off the boards in left center and scored on a single through the left side by Jovan Rosa.  Craig Maddox cleared the clubhouses with a home run for the 4-0 lead.

Sebald settled down and retired the next nine batters, staying in the groove long enough for the Barnstormers to surge in front.

Lancaster produced four consecutive two-out RBI hits in the top of the second.  Lance Zawadzki doubled home the first run and scored, in turn, on another two-bagger to left center by Tyler Clark.  Darian Sandford singled into left center to score Clark with the third run.  Sandford stole second and rode home with the tying run on a single up the middle by Beau Amaral.

The Barnstormers got to former Phillie Jonathan Pettibone again in the fourth inning.  Nate Coronado led off with a double and scored when Josh Bell’s grounder scooted under first baseman Jon Griffin’s glove for an error.  Zawadzki singled, and Clark beat out a bunt to load the bases.

Sandford, Amaral and Caleb Gindl took turns driving in runs, but Clark was thrown out at the plate on the Amaral base hit to center, and Amaral was cut down attempting to score from second on a Gindl looper to left, the inning ending with Lancaster up, 8-4.

For the second consecutive night, the Barnstormers starting pitcher grew wild with the lead.  Following a single by Griffin and error by Coronado on a grounder by Yusuke Kajimoto, Sebald walked Conor Bierfeldt to load the bases.  Michael Baca drove home one run with a sac fly.  Skelton and Crouse walked to force home one run, and Rosa cleared the bases, launching a double off the wall in left for a 9-8 lead.

Two more unearned runs scored in the bottom of the fifth as the result of a throwing error by Kevin Munson off a bunt by Kajimoto, and the Bees put the game away on RBI singles by Maddox and Kajimoto.

The Barnstormers open a three-game series against Southern Maryland over the weekend.  Rommie Lewis (8-11) will make the start for Lancaster against right-hander Eric Fornataro (0-5).

NOTES:  Sandford scored seven runs, drove in five and stole six bases in the series…He has 39 steals overall in 51 Atlantic League games…Lancaster had 11 extra base hits in the series, none of them home runs…Over the three games, there were 56 runs and 72 hits, along with 32 walks and 12 errors…Along with walking 19 in the series, Lancaster pitchers struck out 31 batters…The Barnstormers won the season series, 15-5.